Actual Freedom – Mailing List ‘B’ Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence on Mailing List ‘B’

with Respondent No. 37

Some Of The Topics Covered

psychology and psychiatry failed – freedom from the Human Condition – embracing mortality – immolating ‘self’ – instinctual passions – unreserved YES – acceptance – death – ‘surrender’ – self- sacrifice – de-personalisation – apperception – life/death – PCE – ‘real’ world – equity and parity – fellow human beings – ‘theory of mind’ – autism – consideration – conditioning – rebellion – natural rights – Mr. John Locke – social contract theory – pure intent – unilateral action – instincts – evolutionary fact – aggression – greed – PTSD stress disorder – being ‘normal’ – extinction of passionate memory

September 22 1999:

RESPONDENT: Richard, would you mind answering a question for me? I am intrigued by what you said about being officially diagnosed psychotic. It also appears that you saw a psychiatrist and/or psychologist for a fairly long period of time. My question: what impelled you to seek psychiatric assessment and undergo treatment? Were you under compulsion from family members? Did you question your own sanity? These are some questions that occurred to me.

RICHARD: Oh no, I was not and have never been ‘under compulsion’ by anyone else but my own desire to know – once and for all – what life was all about. I certainly did ‘question my own sanity’ and covered many angles in my study of what other humans have made of weird and/or wonderful experience ... psychiatry and psychology were as equally valid an avenue to explore as physics or metaphysics, palaeontology or cosmogony, archaeology or sociology, philosophy or theology and so on. But the penultimate question was: who was I – a mere boy from the farm – to set himself up to be the arbiter of human experience? How could all those ‘great’ people be in error and Richard correct? So yes, I ‘questioned my own sanity’ ... yet not only my sanity but the sanity of all human beings (both living and dead). And both psychology and psychiatry could not answer my question either ... in the final analysis it was up to me.

The ‘psychiatric assessment’ was for the official record (I find it cute that an actual freedom from the human condition is classified as a severe psychotic disorder) and I wanted that fact on record. As for ‘undergoing treatment’ ... psychiatric medication and psychological counselling are designed to bring those who are suffering from any of three main psychotic categories (Bi-polar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Clinical Depression) and any neurotic sub-categories, back to a state of as near-normal functioning as possible (and ‘normal’ is categorised by Mr. Sigmund Freud as ‘common human unhappiness’). No psychiatric or psychological treatment would meet what I was wanting – I was looking to go beyond both normal and abnormal – thus I was not seeking to ‘undergo treatment’ but rather to find out, experientially (as I did in other fields) what was the extent and range of other human’s experience and solutions.

Psychology and psychiatry has failed just as dismally as philosophy and spirituality.

RESPONDENT: By the way, I think questioning the supposedly benevolent intentions of others under the guise of ‘concern’ and ‘sympathy’ is a sign of health, not illness.

RICHARD: Sometimes it is helpful to work from the etymological roots of words ... and as the word ‘concern’ comes from the Latin ‘concernere’ (sift, distinguish) I would endorse it as an apt description of a sign of health, yes. But as ‘sympathy’ comes from the Greek ‘sym’ (together, alike) and ‘pathy’ (suffering, feeling) I am hard-pushed to see ‘suffering together’ or ‘feeling alike’ as a sign of health (similarly with ‘compassion’: the Latin ‘passio’ equals the Greek ‘pathos’ hence ‘together in pathos’). There is a widespread belief that suffering is good for you ... whereas in my experience the only good thing about suffering is when it comes to an end.

Permanently.

September 23 1999:

RICHARD: Oh no, I was not and have never been ‘under compulsion’ by anyone else but my own desire to know – once and for all – what life was all about. I certainly did ‘question my own sanity’ and covered many angles in my study of what other humans have made of weird and/or wonderful experience ... psychiatry and psychology were as equally valid an avenue to explore as physics or metaphysics, palaeontology or cosmogony, archaeology or sociology, philosophy or theology and so on. But the penultimate question was: who was I – a mere boy from the farm – to set himself up to be the arbiter of human experience? How could all those ‘great’ people be in error and Richard correct? So yes, I ‘questioned my own sanity’ ... yet not only my sanity but the sanity of all human beings (both living and dead). And both psychology and psychiatry could not answer my question either ... in the final analysis it was up to me. The ‘psychiatric assessment’ was for the official record (I find it cute that an actual freedom from the human condition is classified as a severe psychotic disorder) and I wanted that fact on record. As for ‘undergoing treatment’ ... psychiatric medication and psychological counselling are designed to bring those who are suffering from any of three main psychotic categories (Bi-polar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Clinical Depression) and any neurotic sub-categories, back to a state of as near-normal functioning as possible (and ‘normal’ is categorised by Mr. Sigmund Freud as ‘common human unhappiness’). No psychiatric or psychological treatment would meet what I was wanting – I was looking to go beyond both normal and abnormal – thus I was not seeking to ‘undergo treatment’ but rather to find out, experientially (as I did in other fields) what was the extent and range of other human’s experience and solutions. Psychology and psychiatry has failed just as dismally as philosophy and spirituality.

RESPONDENT: But why were you looking to go beyond, surpass, both normal and abnormal?

RICHARD: Because (a) I was normal for 34 years ... and it is the pits; and because (b) I was abnormal for 11 years ... and it sucks.

RESPONDENT: Also, in my opinion, modern psychiatry and psychology are for the most part a failure because they do not help people to deal very fundamentally with what is troubling them and are often merely concerned with helping people to adjust, cope, and adapt to a sick, crumbling, and corrupt society.

RICHARD: Aye, as I said (above) psychiatric medication and psychological counselling are designed to bring a psychotic or neurotic person back to a state of as near-normal functioning as possible. That they ‘do not help people to deal very fundamentally with what is troubling them’ is because they do not know themselves ... and it is not because a society is ‘sick and corrupt’ (no society is ‘crumbling’ because all cultures throughout 5,000 years of recorded history and maybe 50,000 years of pre-history have always been ‘sick and corrupt’). A society – any culture, anywhere in the world, anywhen through the aeons – is ‘sick and corrupt’ because each and every person who makes up that society is ‘sick and corrupt’. This condition is called ‘The Human Condition’.

RESPONDENT: Anyone who questions the perceived subject/object split is, in effect, declaring to all and sundry that he/she is insane.

RICHARD: Given that sanity is defined as something like ‘a well-adjusted personality coping with the conflicting demands of both the inner and outer worlds’ then you are right on the ball with this statement.

RESPONDENT: Unless they are a university physics professor, or a marginalized spiritual teacher.

RICHARD: Yes ... it struck me about twenty years ago that it is up to the nobodies of this world to go where no person has gone before.

November 20 1999:

RESPONDENT No. 39: I’m not clear as to how one eliminates the instincts after one has become intimate with them and then has a 100% commitment. Does this happen on its own or is there something that I need to do?

RICHARD: It happens on its own in that, as ‘I’ am the instinctual passions and the instinctual passions are ‘me’, there is no way that ‘I’ can end ‘me’. What ‘I’ do is that ‘I’ deliberately and consciously and with knowledge aforethought set in motion a ‘process’ that will ensure ‘my’ demise. What ‘I’ do, voluntarily and willingly, is to press the button – which is to acquiesce – which precipitates an oft-times alarming but always thrilling momentum that will result in ‘my’ inevitable self-immolation. The acquiescing is that one thus dedicates oneself to being here as the universe’s experience of itself now ... it is the unreserved !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body. Peace-on-earth is the inevitable result of such devotion because it is already here ... it is always here now. ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ was merely standing in the way of the already always existing perfect purity from becoming apparent by sitting back and moaning and groaning about the inequity of it all (as epitomised in ‘I didn’t ask to be born’). How can one be forever sticking one’s toe in and testing out the waters and yet expect to be able to look at oneself in the mirror each morning with dignity. The act of initiating this ‘process’ – acquiescence – is to embrace death.

RESPONDENT: At this point I am curious about what you mean by ‘embracing death’.

RICHARD: In the context (above) where one unreservedly says !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body I was referring to physical death. If it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless.

RESPONDENT: Krishnamurti talks about a lot about dying to self, dying to your thoughts, your name, etc. It sounds pretty much like a comprehensive dying to everything. But this is not what most of us are doing – quite the opposite, we are cultivating a continuity, craving a permanency. I have found that when I experiment with this death, embrace death as you say, there is a profound disorientation that sets in followed by an exhilarating feeling of freedom. Now, this is not an actual physical death that you are talking about, is it? Elsewhere you talk about one’s demise, one’s self-immolation. So could you say more about what it means to you to embrace death?

RICHARD: Death is a fact to be embraced while alive or it will never be known. To not ‘be’ is inconceivable; it is impossible to imagine not ‘being’ because all one has ever known is ‘being’. What does it mean to not ‘be’? One has always been busy with ‘being’ ... being ‘me’ as ‘being’ itself. What is it to not exist?

There seems to be a general consensus among human beings that death is a mystery that one cannot penetrate, and that the ‘Mystery of Life’ will be revealed only after death. There, they say, lies Peace and Ultimate Fulfilment. It all appears to be an exercise in futility to think about what is entailed in death (which is the end of ‘being’) ... and it is. The end of ‘being’, at physical death, can only ever be a speculation; it has to be experienced to know it. Just like one cannot know the taste of something until one eats it ... so too is it with death as the end of ‘being’. Yet to wait for death will be leaving it too late to find out what it is to not ‘be’ ... as death is oblivion of consciousness there will be no awareness of not ‘being’. The question is: can one experience the end of ‘being’ before this body dies and therefore penetrate into the ‘Mystery of Life’, in full awareness, and find ultimate fulfilment ... here on earth?

What I did was embrace mortality. ‘Life’ and ‘Death’ are not an opposite ... there is simply birth and death happening as matter arranges and rearranges itself as the infinitude of this material universe. Life is what happens in between each arrangement and rearrangement as animate matter, and as sensate animate matter. Before I was born, I was not here. Now that I am alive, I am here. After death I will not be here ... just like before birth. Where is the problem? The problem was in the brain-stem, of course. It is the instinct to survive at any cost that was the problem ... backed up by the full gamut of the emotions born out of the basic instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire. The rudimentary animal ‘self’, transformed into an identity in the human animal, must be extinguished in order for one to be here, in this actual world of the senses, bereft of this identity. Extinction releases one into actuality ... as this flesh and blood body only one is living in the paradisiacal garden that this verdant planet earth is. We are all simply floating in the infinitude of this perfect and pure universe ... coming from nowhere and having nowhere to go to we find ourselves here at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space.

I am this very material universe experiencing its own infinitude as a sensate and reflective human.

When ‘I’ self-immolate in ‘my’ entirety the separative entity’s isolation disappears too – along with all craving, all desire for a spiritual continuity, a mystic permanency – and an actual intimacy emerges that beggars comparison. This is because a person’s isolation is formed by the essence of their ‘being’... and ‘being’ itself is the root-cause of all the ills of humankind. One has ‘been’ in the past, one is ‘being’ in the present, and one will ‘be’ in the future. That ‘being’ is what one calls ‘me’, taking it to be me as-I-am. ‘I’ was, ‘I’ am, ‘I’ will be ... this feeling of continuity, an instinctual entity called ‘me’ existing over time, is not me as-I-am. I do not exist over time; I exist only as this moment exists, and now has no duration here. Therefore I am never alone for there is no ‘being’ to be separate ... let alone to crave a continuity, a permanency. One is always here and it is already now ... there can be nothing more permanent, more perpetual a continuity, than this very place here in infinite space at this very moment in eternal time. What ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul was searching for in the ‘timeless and spaceless and formless’ dimension was already always here in time and space as form ... for there is nothing else than this actual world.

And this actual world is an ambrosial paradise.

November 23 1999:

RICHARD: As ‘I’ am the instinctual passions and the instinctual passions are ‘me’, there is no way that ‘I’ can end ‘me’. What ‘I’ do is that ‘I’ deliberately and consciously and with knowledge aforethought set in motion a ‘process’ that will ensure ‘my’ demise. What ‘I’ do, voluntarily and willingly, is to press the button – which is to acquiesce – which precipitates an oft-times alarming but always thrilling momentum that will result in ‘my’ inevitable self-immolation. The acquiescing is that one thus dedicates oneself to being here as the universe’s experience of itself now ... it is the unreserved !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body. Peace-on-earth is the inevitable result of such devotion because it is already here ... it is always here now. ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ was merely standing in the way of the already always existing perfect purity from becoming apparent by sitting back and moaning and groaning about the inequity of it all (as epitomised in ‘I didn’t ask to be born’). How can one be forever sticking one’s toe in and testing out the waters and yet expect to be able to look at oneself in the mirror each morning with dignity. The act of initiating this ‘process’ – acquiescence – is to embrace death.

RESPONDENT: I am curious about what you mean by ‘embracing death’.

RICHARD: In the context where one unreservedly says !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body I am referring to physical death. If it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless.

RESPONDENT: So, from what you are saying here, I take it that embracing death and embracing life are part, perhaps I should not say ‘part’, but rather they are the same. It seems there is no difference.

RICHARD: If I may interject ... ‘life’ and ‘death’ are not an opposite (unless a person believes in an after-death realm); there is simply birth and death. Matter arranges and rearranges itself as the infinitude of this material universe and life is what happens in between each arrangement and rearrangement (as animate matter and as sensate animate matter). Before I was born, I was not happening. As I am alive, I am happening. After death, I am not happening ... whereas this universe always was, already is and always will be existing. Thus when I unreservedly say !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body I am embracing birth and death, not ‘life and death’ ... if it were not for birth this universe would not be able to experience itself (in this case) as a sensate and reflective human being.

There is an imperative to being born.

RESPONDENT: If one embraces death, I mean accepts it totally, not on a superficial level, but realizes the impermanence of ‘me’ and ‘mine’, then one is free to live totally in the present.

RICHARD: Yes ... if I may explore this word ‘accept’ (and ‘accepting’ and ‘acceptance’) as I see that you qualified it with ‘totally, not on a superficial level’? It has a lot of currency these days and popular usage has given it somewhat the same meaning as ‘allow’ or ‘permit’ or ‘tolerate’ ... which is why I say ‘embrace’ (as in unreservedly saying !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body) as a full-blooded approval and endorsement. Those peoples who say that they ‘accept’ ... um ... a rapist, for just one example, never for one moment are approving and endorsing ... let alone unreservedly saying !YES! to the rapist.

RESPONDENT: By refusing to accept the fact of death, the inevitable end of ‘me’, by positing notions of eternal life, reincarnation, etc. one is simply postponing living life fully in the now, one is actually resisting life, clinging to the ‘me’ and one’s survival as a biological or spiritual entity. It actually does not matter – one has a notion of oneself as actually continuing in the future, whether through the Christian notion of the resurrection of the physical body at the Final Judgement, or an imagined continuance of a spiritual entity through reincarnation, etc.

RICHARD: Yes ... one is but a skipped heart-beat or two away from death each moment again. If one does not live in the optimum manner now one may never do so.

RESPONDENT: When one is concerned about one’s survival as a biological or spiritual entity, harm arises as one is clinging to life not surrendering to the inevitable demise of ‘me’.

RICHARD: Yes ... except if I may also explore this word ‘surrender’ as it too has a lot of currency these days. Basically ‘surrender’ means the giving up of oneself into the possession or power of another who has or asserts a claim; to yield on demand or compulsion to a person or a god ... as in submission to an enemy in resignation as a prisoner. It basically means to give in, to relinquish possession of, give up, deliver up, part with, let go of, yield, submit, capitulate, lay down one’s arms, throw in the towel, throw in the sponge, succumb ... and lose. It smacks of passivity, docility, meekness, sufferance ... a seeking of clemency. Speaking personally, I have never, ever given in, in this sense. I do not know how to – thus it has never been an option – and never will know how to.

Whereas the ‘I’ that was sacrificed ‘himself’ ... and ‘sacrifice’ means to die as an altruistic offering, a philanthropic contribution, a generous gift, a charitable donation, a magnanimous present; to devote and give over one’s life as a humane gratuity, an open-handed endowment, a munificent bequest, a kind-hearted benefaction. A sacrifice is the relinquishment of something valued or desired, especially one’s life, for the sake of something regarded as more important or worthy ... it is the deliberate destruction, abandonment, relinquishment, forfeiture or loss for the sake of something illustrious, brilliant, extraordinary and excellent. It means to forgo, depart from, leave, quit, vacate, discontinue, stop, cease or immolate so that one’s guerdon is to be able to be unrepressed, unconstrained, unselfconscious, spontaneous, free and easy, relaxed, informal, open, candid, outspoken, uninhibited, unrestrained, unrestricted, uncontrolled, uncurbed, unchecked, unbridled ... none of which is implied with ‘surrender’.

As I have remarked before, ‘I’ went out in a blaze of glory. I embrace death ... if it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless.

RESPONDENT: And you are saying the demise of ‘me’ (from your perspective) is an accomplished fact?

RICHARD: Yes ... in psychiatric terms it is called ‘depersonalisation’ (as in ‘lost touch with one’s identity’). The question ‘who am I’ has no relevance whatsoever (whereas ‘what am I’ is the obvious question to ask). However, this particular ‘depersonalisation’ goes hand-in-hand with another psychiatric term: ‘derealisation’ (as in ‘lost one’s grip on reality’). Thus psychiatry cannot explain this actual freedom from the human condition accurately as there is no precedence in that both ‘identity’ and ‘reality’ have ceased to exist – as in extinct – whereas, nominally, a depersonalised or a derealised patient can be (somewhat) brought ‘back to reality’ or can ‘regain their identity’ to some degree.

Embracing death is a one-way trip.

*

RESPONDENT: Krishnamurti talks about a lot about dying to self, dying to your thoughts, your name, etc. It sounds pretty much like a comprehensive dying to everything. But this is not what most of us are doing – quite the opposite, we are cultivating a continuity, craving a permanency. I have found that when I experiment with this death, embrace death as you say, there is a profound disorientation that sets in followed by an exhilarating feeling of freedom. Now, this is not an actual physical death that you are talking about, is it? Elsewhere you talk about one’s demise, one’s self-immolation. So could you say more about what it means to you to embrace death?

RICHARD: Death is a fact to be embraced while alive or it will never be known. To not ‘be’ is inconceivable; it is impossible to imagine not ‘being’ because all one has ever known is ‘being’. What does it mean to not ‘be’? One has always been busy with ‘being’ ... being ‘me’ as ‘being’ itself. What is it to not exist?

RESPONDENT: It is indeed incomprehensible.

RICHARD: Yes ... an actual freedom from the human condition is inconceivable, unimaginable, unbelievable and undreamed of. Actuality is far, far better than anything ‘I’ could want ... ‘I’ did not know that this pristine perfection could possibly exist.

*

RICHARD: There seems to be a general consensus among human beings that death is a mystery that one cannot penetrate, and that the ‘Mystery of Life’ will be revealed only after death. There, they say, lies Peace and Ultimate Fulfilment. It all appears to be an exercise in futility to think about what is entailed in death (which is the end of ‘being’) ... and it is. The end of ‘being’, at physical death, can only ever be a speculation; it has to be experienced to know it. Just like one cannot know the taste of something until one eats it ... so too is it with death as the end of ‘being’. Yet to wait for death will be leaving it too late to find out what it is to not ‘be’ ... as death is oblivion of consciousness there will be no awareness of not ‘being’. The question is: can one experience the end of ‘being’ before this body dies and therefore penetrate into the ‘Mystery of Life’, in full awareness, and find ultimate fulfilment ... here on earth?

RESPONDENT: And that’s quite a question. Should one ‘self-immolate’ and extinguish the ‘me’, is there consciousness of being? I would think not – then there would be no ‘me’ and hence no consciousness of myself as separate observer.

RICHARD: Precisely ... no ‘observer’ – whether ‘separate’ or ‘whole’ (as in ‘holistic’, unified’, ‘in union’, ‘oneness’ and so on) – means that here consciousness is conscious of being consciousness (not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious) and such perception I call apperceptive awareness (Oxford Dictionary: apperception: the mind’s perception of itself) so as to distinguish it from the ‘Tried and True’ unified awareness known ‘unitary perception’ or ‘choiceless awareness’ and so on.

*

RICHARD: What I did was embrace mortality. ‘Life’ and ‘Death’ are not an opposite ... there is simply birth and death happening as matter arranges and rearranges itself as the infinitude of this material universe. Life is what happens in between each arrangement and rearrangement as animate matter, and as sensate animate matter. Before I was born, I was not here. Now that I am alive, I am here. After death I will not be here ... just like before birth. Where is the problem? The problem was in the brain-stem, of course. It is the instinct to survive at any cost that was the problem ... backed up by the full gamut of the emotions born out of the basic instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire. The rudimentary animal ‘self’, transformed into an identity in the human animal, must be extinguished in order for one to be here, in this actual world of the senses, bereft of this identity. Extinction releases one into actuality ... as this flesh and blood body only one is living in the paradisiacal garden that this verdant planet earth is. We are all simply floating in the infinitude of this perfect and pure universe ... coming from nowhere and having nowhere to go to we find ourselves here at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space. I am this very material universe experiencing its own infinitude as a sensate and reflective human.

RESPONDENT: One is reluctant to let go of the basic instinctual passions as they seem, at least in their less violent manifestations, to be the source of earthly and fleshly pleasures, for instance, the pleasure of sex, the pleasure of a good meal ...

RICHARD: Yes ... in psychiatric terms it is called ‘anhedonia’ (as in the inability to affectively feel pleasure). There is bodily sensation, of course, but the ‘pleasure centre’ (located by some neuro-scientists in the amygdala) has ceased to exist along with fear and all the rest. I could not be a hedonist if I wanted to.

RESPONDENT: ... the sense of power and competency one derives through keeping the physical body fit through exercise, etc..

RICHARD: I have no power or powers at all. Competency comes from not being run by the instinctual passions (thus allowing a freed intelligence to act sensibly) and, as I do not own a car, exercise comes mainly from walking. Other than that, my favoured form of exercise is raising the coffee-cup to my lips with my right hand whilst simultaneously exercising the left hand on the TV remote control buttons.

I traverse the world nightly in the comfort and safety of my own sitting room.

RESPONDENT: I’m having a hard time drawing the line, so to speak. Your words imply a strong position of no-compromise, extinction of basic instinctual passions, period. Am I misunderstanding what you are saying?

RICHARD: You are not misunderstanding at all.

*

RICHARD: When ‘I’ self-immolate in ‘my’ entirety the separative entity’s isolation disappears too – along with all craving, all desire for a spiritual continuity, a mystic permanency – and an actual intimacy emerges that beggars comparison. This is because a person’s isolation is formed by the essence of their ‘being’... and ‘being’ itself is the root-cause of all the ills of humankind. One has ‘been’ in the past, one is ‘being’ in the present, and one will ‘be’ in the future. That ‘being’ is what one calls ‘me’, taking it to be me as-I-am. ‘I’ was, ‘I’ am, ‘I’ will be ... this feeling of continuity, an instinctual entity called ‘me’ existing over time, is not me as-I-am. I do not exist over time; I exist only as this moment exists, and now has no duration here. Therefore I am never alone for there is no ‘being’ to be separate ... let alone to crave a continuity, a permanency. One is always here and it is already now ... there can be nothing more permanent, more perpetual a continuity, than this very place here in infinite space at this very moment in eternal time. What ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul was searching for in the ‘timeless and spaceless and formless’ dimension was already always here in time and space as form ... for there is nothing else than this actual world. And this actual world is an ambrosial paradise.

RESPONDENT: So, it is futile to search for the timeless, the spaceless, the formless. This search is an illusion, as our happiness is here, right now, not in some imagined afterlife. There is something about your words which have a strong ring of truth to me right now, at this time. Perhaps it is a wish to find that ‘ambrosial paradise’ you talk of, I don’t know.

RICHARD: Or maybe you are being prompted by long-lost memories of a pure consciousness experience (PCE) which all peoples I have spoken to at length have experienced at least once in their life (it has a global occurrence). Generally speaking, PCE’s are more prevalent in childhood and the memory is tucked away in an area of the brain not normally accessed. As a PCE has no affective qualities whatsoever it cannot be remembered in the normal way (reverie, reminiscence, nostalgia, daydreaming, wistfulness and so on) but its elusive reminder stirs one into positing utopias (as expressed in ‘there must be more to life than this’) or after-life realms.

RESPONDENT: I seriously doubt that I have ‘self-immolated’ and, I must say, I doubt that you have either. I think others have raised these doubts as well.

RICHARD: Indeed ... it is an outrageous thing for a white westerner in a suburban house to say. If the ‘me’ that was for 33 years could have met me today face-to-face (or read my words) ‘he’ would have dismissed me as being ‘off with the fairies’ or ‘you are up yourself’ as ‘he’ was quite cynical and sarcastic. But ... one night ‘he’ had a PCE that made ‘him’ sit up and pay attention.

Thus I am freed to be here ... now.

RESPONDENT: In some respects, to extinguish the in-born, genetically programmed survival responses of the organism to danger seems insane and incredible.

RICHARD: Yes, I have not been sane for years. From the ‘real world’ perspective I am indeed insane ... officially I have a ‘severe psychotic disorder’. It is pertinent to note that 160,000,000 sane human beings have been killed in wars alone this century by their sane fellow human beings. Even so, statistically, the most dangerous place is in a person’s own home ... the ‘stranger-danger’ rule impressed into children is based upon an (approximately) 10% incidence. And law-enforcement agencies dislike a ‘serial-killer’ case because otherwise the vast bulk of their cases are relatively easy to solve: sane relatives and/or sane associates and/or sane colleagues are the immediate suspects.

What price sanity, eh?

RESPONDENT: Yet, I see what you are saying about harm arising from these same instinctual passions. I am having a hard time reconciling these things. Can you comment?

RICHARD: The instinctual passions are – more or less – all that animals have to operate and function with ... and one can presume (it cannot be known as a fact) that the instinctual passions were equally essential for proto-human beings (humanoids) before intelligence evolved with the advent of the ability to think, reflect, plan and implement considered action for beneficial results (no other animal can do this). All peoples alive today are the end result of the ‘success story’ of the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire ... if it were not for these survival instincts we would not be here. Yet these very survival instincts are the biggest threat to human survival today ... the greatest danger these days is no longer the ‘wild animals’ or ‘savage beasts’ of yore ... it is fellow human beings. The dropping of the atomic bombs in 1945 and the world-wide accessibility to both chemical and biological warfare weapons brought home to all but the most recalcitrant the stunning fact that people are their own worst enemy.

It is high time for radical unilateral action.

March 16 2000:

RICHARD: Whilst it is true that men overtly ‘rule the roost’ and/or ‘hold the reins of power’ ... yet all the while women covertly ‘define the parameters’ and/or ‘dictate the rules’.

RESPONDENT No. 21: You’ve got it right. Covert leads to overt, and overt get into trouble while covert looks like an angel. Empower women over men and chaos is the result.

RICHARD: Hmm ... the last time I looked chaos already reigned supreme. As for ‘empowering women over men’ (or empowering men over women): as neither women nor men can ever have the upper hand (it is only the overt/covert balance of power interaction that can ever change) you need not be concerned about your scenario coming to fruition (for men would covertly ‘define the parameters’ as women now do to keep excesses in check through holding the high moral ground if or when women ever overtly ‘hold the reins of power’). If you fondly imagine that you are currently ‘empowered’ over women then it is time to go back to your drawing board and redraft your thesis in accord with the facts (I take it that you either did not access the URL provided or did not find it informative if you did). It is the need for power itself that is the problem – not who currently overtly or covertly holds it – which is why I suggested coming out of the ‘sixties and here into the ‘noughties, where equity and parity is the key to success. The cathartic ‘airing one’s dirty linen in public’ of the ‘sixties is over for those who actually looked at the dirt displayed.

RESPONDENT: You say ‘equity and parity is the key to success’.

RICHARD: Yes, the ‘theory of mind’ signifies both equity and parity to be involuntarily automatic in any social situation. [Dictionary Definition]: equity: even-handed dealing; fairness, impartiality; unbiased. [Dictionary Definition]: parity: on a par; equivalence; similarity; correspondence. The question is: what is preventing this spontaneous recognition of being fellow human beings from flowing-on into all areas in common?

RESPONDENT: The notions of equity and parity are seemingly at the core of democratic institutions, with the idea that ‘all men are created equal’ and that there are certain ‘natural’ rights of human beings, stemming from the thinking of philosophers like John Locke.

RICHARD: I questioned whether all humans are born equal ... there are talents one has which leads to an ease in the acquisition of skills that another has to struggle to master and vice versa. The rapid shuffling of the DNA at conception (before the doubling takes place) leads to a difference betwixt one foetus and another. The same applies to physical stature (muscularity, stamina and so on) which all combine to produce a staggering array of differences ... and none of this I have detailed so far has anything to do with where one is born (climate) or in what era (progress) let alone social inequality such as what class of society one is born into (educational and career opportunities) and so on. As for ‘natural rights’ ... without question there are none: there is only ‘human rights’. And ‘human rights’ are a human construct – an agreement between human beings to conduct themselves in a certain way in relation to other human beings – and are designed to counter the insalubrious effects of the instinctual passions bestowed upon all sentient beings by blind nature via genetic inheritance. A ‘right’ is a legal entitlement ascribed to a person or persons with a reasonable or just claim to the terms of that agreement. A ‘right’ is therefore something ‘given’ by humans to humans – and to a certain extent to other animals – but what is given can be taken away ... at the point of a gun. There are no ‘rights’, in actuality, other than what human beings agree on ... and ‘rights’ have to be enforced at the point of a gun, anyway.

Any philosophical thinking (such as that of Mr. John Locke) which starts with a false premise is going to produce an elaborately false outcome (the falseness of which is concealed in the mass of concepts required to prop up the entire edifice). That there is some useful notions scattered hither and thither gives the thesis an air of respectability.

RESPONDENT: Equity. Parity. Are these just high-minded ideals, political theories divorced from the reality of everyday life in human societies?

RICHARD: Yes and no (and I am not being tricky here) in that yes, they are ‘just high-minded ideals’ when applied as a discipline, a practice, a duty ... and no, they are not ‘divorced from the reality of everyday life’ when they come spontaneously, involuntarily, of their own accord.

In a word: artlessly.

RESPONDENT: Naturally, there is a dark side of democratic institutions that is well known: the history of oppression and slavery, actual slavery, political and economic slavery, that democratic ideals, cleverly managed, conceal. And there is the actuality that we are quick to the trigger, to pick up a machine gun or a grenade launcher when the music stops and infringe on the ‘rights’ of others in territorial conquests or economic competition.

RICHARD: And here you have put your finger on the nub of the issue: the spontaneity of equity and parity that comes with the recognition of being fellow human beings is hijacked, subverted, sabotaged. And by what?

RESPONDENT: As an aside, the thinking of a Krishnamurti seems strikingly similar to the thinking of a previous philosopher, Hobbes, who maintained that human beings are basically selfish and that governments are a contract between individuals, motivated primarily by self-interest, and the corporate whole.

RICHARD: Again, any philosophical thinking that starts with a false premise is going to produce an elaborately false outcome ... and Mr. Thomas Hobbes is no exception with his version of a ‘social contract’ theory. The fatal flaw is that, as everyone is born into an already-existing society, they are dragooned into ‘signing’ the sick ‘social contract’ that was already here ... and nothing of worth is gained through coercion. The ‘with rights comes obligations’ central point of this enforced ‘social contract’ is the main sticking point: state rights take precedence over individual rights and individual obligations far exceeds state obligations in practice ... equity and parity are nowhere to be seen.

Ergo: resentment.

RESPONDENT: So, where do equity and parity come into the picture?

RICHARD: Only unilateral action will do the trick.

RESPONDENT: Are these just hollow ideals?

RICHARD: No ... or, rather, they were not for me, anyway.

RESPONDENT: Do they have any actual meaning in our lives?

RICHARD: My experience says: if you want it too it will have meaning in your life ... and bucket-loads of meaning into the bargain.

RESPONDENT: I would appreciate you expanding on these words.

RICHARD: This was my position all those years ago: just as I cannot change the weather to ensure a sunny day on the beach, how can I live with equity and parity in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are?

March 20 2000:

RESPONDENT: You say ‘equity and parity is the key to success’.

RICHARD: Yes, the ‘theory of mind’ signifies both equity and parity to be involuntarily automatic in any social situation. [Dictionary Definition]: equity: even-handed dealing; fairness, impartiality; unbiased. [Dictionary Definition]: parity: on a par; equivalence; similarity; correspondence. The question is: what is preventing this spontaneous recognition of being fellow human beings from flowing-on into all areas in common?

RESPONDENT: I don’t know what the ‘theory of mind’ is, but it seems to me that we are conditioned to automatically perceive differences and act in certain ways towards others based on that social conditioning. In other words, we are biased.

RICHARD: It is deeper than socialisation ... it is a normal part of the maturation of the human brain: the ‘theory of mind’ is a term which basically denotes that human communal interaction, as contrasted to animals’ communal interaction, depends primarily upon one’s knowledge about other people’s consciousness (the recognition of a mind in other people similar to one’s own). There is more to it than just this, though: normal adult humans have a ‘theory of mind’ in that they understand that (a) other humans have wants, ideas and intentions that may differ from one’s own; (b) that desires and ideals are different from plans and actions; (c) that concepts may or may not correspond with what is actually occurring in the world. To put it simply, for an example, because one has a ‘theory of mind’ one understands that one can simultaneously (1) know that Santa Claus does not exist and (2) know that for a child the child knows that Santa Claus exists and (3) know that the child’s ‘knowing’ is actually believing. Experiments have been done in order to determine when the ‘theory of mind’ develops in children (which research is important to take personally because all adults were children before they were adults); typically, by age four to four and a half, children can basically (a) distinguish between physical and mental objects (an orange is different from the thought of an orange), (b) reason about ideas, (c) ascribe false knowing (beliefs) in others, (d) engage in pretence (deceive and cheat). Interestingly enough, it is this last point (deceit) which most of all signals the ‘theory of mind’ as having become established. Primatologists have determined that while monkeys do not have a ‘theory of mind’, chimpanzees may very well have a rudimentary ‘theory of mind’ in that they can deliberately deceive other chimpanzees (pretence) by hiding food so as to be able eat it all on their own. Incidentally, it is considered that autism is best characterised as ‘mind-blindness’; in other words, autistic individuals generally lack a ‘theory of mind’.

To comprehend the importance of ‘theory of mind’, one only has to consider the task the ‘artificial intelligence’ theorists face in building a computerised model that would communicate like a human: they have to consider what kind of thoughts such a machine would have to be capable of to interact meaningfully with humans and how these kinds of thoughts could be modelled ... let alone inputting feelings.

RESPONDENT: I don’t know why you say that equity and parity are involuntarily automatic in any social situation.

RICHARD: Concurrent with the recognition of the other creature being a fellow human being comes a tacit ‘of course’ that one treats the other with the same consideration as one treats oneself ... it is the implicit acknowledgment of ‘similarity’ (like knows like). However, this involuntarily automatic attribution of equity and parity (which is consideration for the needs of both oneself and the other simultaneously) is, as I go on to say further below, hijacked, subverted, sabotaged.

RESPONDENT: It seems quite the opposite to me. This conditioning is deep: one is trained from an early age to be obedient to authority, to do as one is told, to ‘respect’ one’s betters, etc.

RICHARD: Yes ... but this is not the deepest layer of hijacking, subversion and sabotage: investigating hierarchical socialisation is relatively superficial to one who seeks to explore the human psyche in its totality.

RESPONDENT: At least I was. Recognizing the baleful consequences of this social conditioning (wars, bestiality, oppression) ...

RICHARD: If I may interject: social conditioning does not, of course, cause ‘wars, bestiality, oppression’ ... it is a contributing factor only.

RESPONDENT: ... one first rebels or resists but then realizes one is a part of this background of conditioning and the harder one fights to resist it, the stronger it gets. In fact, one is this background, one is not separate from it.

RICHARD: There is much more to one’s background than conditioning ... and a rebel only reinforces the conditioning by keeping it alive through reacting anyway. One begins to comprehend that all the different types of socialisation (peer-group conditioning, parental conditioning and societal conditioning in general) are well-meant endeavours by countless peoples over innumerable aeons to seek to curb the instinctual animal passions. Now, while most people paddle around on the surface and re-arrange the conditioning to ease their lot somewhat, some people – seeking to be free of all human conditioning – fondly imagine that by putting on a face-mask and snorkel that they have gone deep-sea diving with a scuba outfit ... deep into the human condition. They have not ... they have gone deep only into the human conditioning. When they tip upon the instinctual passions – which are both savage (fear and aggression) and tender (nurture and desire) – they grab for the tender (the ‘good’ side) and blow them up all out of proportion as an antidote, as compensating pacifiers ... and the investigation ceases. It takes nerves of steel to don such an aqua-lung and plunge deep in the stygian depths of the human psyche ... it is not for the faint of heart or the weak of knee. This is because below or behind the conditioning is the human condition itself ... that which necessitated the controls (conditioning) in the first place.

Thus the conditioning can prevent the investigation of the human condition itself.

*

RESPONDENT: The notions of equity and parity are seemingly at the core of democratic institutions, with the idea that ‘all men are created equal’ and that there are certain ‘natural’ rights of human beings, stemming from the thinking of philosophers like John Locke.

RICHARD: I questioned whether all humans are born equal ... there are talents one has which leads to an ease in the acquisition of skills that another has to struggle to master and vice versa. The rapid shuffling of the DNA at conception (before the doubling takes place) leads to a difference betwixt one foetus and another. The same applies to physical stature (muscularity, stamina and so on) which all combine to produce a staggering array of differences ... and none of this I have detailed so far has anything to do with where one is born (climate) or in what era (progress) let alone social inequality such as what class of society one is born into (educational and career opportunities) and so on.

RESPONDENT: Just because there are differences between people, in strengths, abilities, aptitudes, etc., it doesn’t have to become the basis of a thorough-going inequality and mistreatment of others.

RICHARD: It is important to remember, that when one questions a principle (such as equality) and its opposite (inequality) becomes obvious as a result of the question, that nothing has changed except that a belief has disappeared ... inequality was always happening anyway.

RESPONDENT: I could never understand, for instance, why we want to rule others and have power over others. Sometimes my musing on this question leads to the following question: ‘what gives another the ‘right’ to tell one what to do’? But then, this may be a wrong question, because the concept of ‘right’ is embodied into the question, and as you pointed out, what is given can be taken away.

RICHARD: Yes ... ‘might is right’ in the real world.

*

RICHARD: As for ‘natural rights’ ... without question there are none: there is only ‘human rights’. And ‘human rights’ are a human construct – an agreement between human beings to conduct themselves in a certain way in relation to other human beings – and are designed to counter the insalubrious effects of the instinctual passions bestowed upon all sentient beings by blind nature via genetic inheritance. A ‘right’ is a legal entitlement ascribed to a person or persons with a reasonable or just claim to the terms of that agreement. A ‘right’ is therefore something ‘given’ by humans to humans – and to a certain extent to other animals – but what is given can be taken away ... at the point of a gun. There are no ‘rights’, in actuality, other than what human beings agree on ... and ‘rights’ have to be enforced at the point of a gun, anyway.

Any philosophical thinking (such as that of Mr. John Locke) which starts with a false premise is going to produce an elaborately false outcome (the falseness of which is concealed in the mass of concepts required to prop up the entire edifice). That there is some useful notions scattered hither and thither gives the thesis an air of respectability.

RESPONDENT: Equity. Parity. Are these just high-minded ideals, political theories divorced from the reality of everyday life in human societies?

RICHARD: Yes and no (and I am not being tricky here) in that yes, they are ‘just high-minded ideals’ when applied as a discipline, a practice, a duty ... and no, they are not ‘divorced from the reality of everyday life’ when they come spontaneously, involuntarily, of their own accord. In a word: artlessly.

RESPONDENT: My sense is that equity and parity do not come unless one is singularly vigilant to the violence in one’s life and in one’s relationships (of course one’s life is one’s relationships). That would be watching oneself very carefully in every situation and basically seeing every movement as it comes up.

RICHARD: Yes ... one’s aggression is primal and hijacks, subverts and sabotages equity and parity time and time again.

RESPONDENT: For instance, I became aware of interrupting a new female co-worker in her speech. I noticed this a couple of times and it bothered me. I was trying to dominate the discussion. I thought about why I was doing this, I became really aware of it, and it stopped.

RICHARD: If I may ask? When you became ‘really aware of it’ (through thinking about why) did this awareness reveal the feeling or feelings driving your interaction? If so, was it the discovery (of being run by the affective faculty) that ended the ‘dominating the discussion’ activity through its exposure?

Or was it a thought-realisation that it is not nice to dominate another (as a social theory)?

*

RESPONDENT: Naturally, there is a dark side of democratic institutions that is well known: the history of oppression and slavery, actual slavery, political and economic slavery, that democratic ideals, cleverly managed, conceal. And there is the actuality that we are quick to the trigger, to pick up a machine gun or a grenade launcher when the music stops and infringe on the ‘rights’ of others in territorial conquests or economic competition.

RICHARD: And here you have put your finger on the nub of the issue: the spontaneity of equity and parity that comes with the recognition of being fellow human beings is hijacked, subverted, sabotaged. And by what?

RESPONDENT: There are a myriad of factors involved, undoubtedly. We could speculate endlessly on these. Greed is a factor: I think I am lacking and you have something I want; therefore, I am going to take it from you to acquire it for myself.

RICHARD: Is this greed triggered by a primal (human condition) cause or a proximate (human conditioning) cause?

RESPONDENT: Conditioned fear is another factor. Our lives have sometimes been derailed by violence, you know, children are abused, mistreated, and it perpetuates this wheel of sorrow.

RICHARD: Yes (although sorrow itself has a much deeper cause ... but that is another topic). These are contributing factors ... what I am looking for is what ‘I’ am doing to hijack, subvert, sabotage equity and parity. What other human beings do is their own business ... only unilateral action will do the trick.

RESPONDENT: There are in-built hormonal and neuronal mechanisms that mediate the fight-or-flight response of the organism to danger and extreme stress. These are permanently altered when one has been the object of violence or exposed to extreme stress.

RICHARD: Yet there are no child-hood hurts extant in this flesh and blood body ... my experience demonstrates that nothing in the affective faculty is either ‘hard-wired’ or permanent.

*

RESPONDENT: As an aside, the thinking of a Krishnamurti seems strikingly similar to the thinking of a previous philosopher, Hobbes, who maintained that human beings are basically selfish and that governments are a contract between individuals, motivated primarily by self-interest, and the corporate whole.

RICHARD: Again, any philosophical thinking that starts with a false premise is going to produce an elaborately false outcome and Mr. Thomas Hobbes is no exception with his version of a ‘social contract’ theory.

RESPONDENT: Yes, you are quite right. I had not seen that before but it makes sense. To say ‘this is the way it is ... human beings are basically greedy ...’, to start with an assumption like this rather than leaving the question open and starting with inquiry, as we (sometimes) do here, however imperfectly, is bound to produce a whole system based on false premises. It is an approach designed to produce a particular end. Now, I hear you saying that equity and parity are involuntarily automatic when we recognize others as our fellow human beings.

RICHARD: Yes, if one says that human beings are only ‘basically greedy’ or only ‘basically selfish’ and there is nothing else ... then an investigation is stymied before it gets off the ground (for then it is all over: ‘this is a sorry world’; ‘the universe is a sick joke’; ‘life is a bitch and then you die’ ... and so on and so on). Then one has no alternative but to construct evermore elaborate coping mechanisms ... as I remarked regarding Mr. Thomas Hobbes’ version of a ‘social contract’ theory:

• [Richard]: ‘the fatal flaw in his theory is that, as everyone is born into an already-existing society, they are dragooned into ‘signing’ the sick ‘social contract’ that was already here ... and nothing of worth is gained through coercion. The ‘with rights comes obligations’ central point of this enforced ‘social contract’ is the main sticking point: state rights take precedence over individual rights and individual obligations far exceeds state obligations in practice ... equity and parity are nowhere to be seen. Ergo: resentment’.

RESPONDENT: The trouble is that we do not, we don’t recognize the humanity of others, we don’t see others clearly, we see sick images of others based on our conditioning, in other words, images put together by thought.

RICHARD: I would question whether ‘sick images of others’ are only ‘based on our conditioning’ ... before concluding that images are only ‘put together by thought’.

*

RESPONDENT: So, where do equity and parity come into the picture?

RICHARD: Only unilateral action will do the trick.

RESPONDENT: Action as in not of thought? Care to expound?

RICHARD: By ‘unilateral’ I mean that living with equity and parity is something one does entirely on one’s own ... it does not depend upon the cooperation of others. What they do is their business (as long as they comply with the legal laws and observe the social protocol, they are left alone to live their lives as wisely or as foolishly as they choose). One does not have to concern oneself about any other person’s modus operandi at all ... they can carry on being grotty if that is what turns them on. Therefore, one’s basic starting point is this: how can one live with equity and parity in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are?

The purity of intent born out of the intensity of this once-in-a-lifetime ‘starting-point’ question precipitates unilateral action which is not of ‘my’ doing once set in motion ... because, at root, it is ‘me’ who is the problem. Thus thought may or may not play a part in it depending upon the circumstances, each moment again, in one’s daily life. This ‘action’ is a neurological process occurring in the skull (specifically at the top of the brain-stem) that gathers a momentum of its own accord ... ‘me’ thinking and feeling may aid or hinder this process from time-to-time but essentially, once one sets the action in motion, the neurological process does the trick itself.

It is the pure intent to live in peace and harmony (equity and parity) irregardless of other’s intentions that fuels the process.

March 26 2000:

RICHARD: There is much more to one’s background than conditioning ... one begins to comprehend that all the different types of socialisation (peer-group conditioning, parental conditioning and societal conditioning in general) are well-meant endeavours by countless peoples over innumerable aeons to seek to curb the instinctual animal passions. Now, while most people paddle around on the surface and re-arrange the conditioning to ease their lot somewhat, some people – seeking to be free of all human conditioning – fondly imagine that by putting on a face-mask and snorkel that they have gone deep-sea diving with a scuba outfit ... deep into the human condition. They have not ... they have gone deep only into the human conditioning. When they tip upon the instinctual passions – which are both savage (fear and aggression) and tender (nurture and desire) – they grab for the tender (the ‘good’ side) and blow them up all out of proportion as an antidote, as compensating pacifiers ... and the investigation ceases. It takes nerves of steel to don such an aqua-lung and plunge deep in the stygian depths of the human psyche ... it is not for the faint of heart or the weak of knee. This is because below or behind the conditioning is the human condition itself ... that which necessitated the controls (conditioning) in the first place. Thus the conditioning can prevent the investigation of the human condition itself.

RESPONDENT: I seem to remember the statement ‘instincts on rampage balk at investigation’. For the most part, then, we are content to, as you say, paddle around on the surface, avoiding deep investigation into ourselves. We want to have an image of ourselves as reasonable, respectable people rather than the bloodthirsty killers that we are. Pardon the hyperbole; perhaps that is putting it too starkly.

RICHARD: Is it really true that ‘we want to have an image of ourselves as reasonable, respectable people’ which makes one ‘avoid deep investigation into ourselves’ ... or is such societal conditioning a necessity in order to curb the savage beast that lurks deep within the human breast? In other words: what if one has been inadvertently blaming conditioning all along for something that is not its fault?

If one realises this is so ... then what happens?

RESPONDENT: We may never have actually snuffed out a life, directly, but the potential for actual violence is there in the instinctual drives, the ‘human condition’ that you refer to. Yet the instinctual animal passions are there for a reason, are they not?

RICHARD: Yes, to give one a (rough and ready) basic ‘software package’ operating system ... so as to give one a start to life.

RESPONDENT: What is their basic function or raison d’être?

RICHARD: To ensure the survival of the species ... and any species will do as far as blind nature is concerned. Survival of the fittest means the most fitted to survive live to pass on their genes ... the species which is most fitted to the environment succeeds in the perpetuation of their species. Those that cannot adapt to the ever-changing environment are automatically weeded-out. The (supposed) ‘resurgence’ of viruses immune to the vast array of antibiotics (for instance) empirically demonstrates this ‘survival of the most fitted to the environment theory’ to be an actual occurrence.

Thus ‘The Evolutionary Theory’ is now ‘The Evolutionary Fact’.

RESPONDENT: Once necessary for survival, why have they continued on?

RICHARD: Is this not because peoples have been conditioned by various sages and seers to blame the conditioning for causing what is actually caused by the human condition itself ... the very instinctual passions which necessitated the controls (conditioning) in the first place. Thus the fixation on the conditioning can and does prevent the investigation of the human condition itself.

If one realises this is so ... then what happens?

*

RESPONDENT: My sense is that equity and parity do not come unless one is singularly vigilant to the violence in one’s life and in one’s relationships (of course one’s life is one’s relationships). That would be watching oneself very carefully in every situation and basically seeing every movement as it comes up.

RICHARD: Yes ... one’s aggression is primal and hijacks, subverts and sabotages equity and parity time and time again.

RESPONDENT: So, you are saying aggression is primal. Would you say aggression is innate, implying in-born in the human species? Or is it acquired? If it can be extinguished, as you seem to claim it has been in you, does that not imply that it has not been hard-wired into the human species, that it may have a largely acquired characteristic?

RICHARD: The very fact that aggression is common to all peoples of all races, all eras, all cultures and both genders indicates that it is highly unlikely to be a ‘largely acquired characteristic’ ... such a global incidence bespeaks an innate trait. One can gain additional confirmation for this hypothesis by observing other sentient beings in the ‘animal kingdom’ ... especially those that hatch out on their own and make their own way in the world without parents or siblings or peers to condition them.

Therefore, it appears to be, as you say, ‘hard-wired into the human species’ ... just as it is with all other sentient species. This is epitomised by the oft-repeated refrains ‘I am only human’ or ‘to err is to be human’ or ‘you can’t change human nature’ ... and thus many and varied coping mechanisms (conditionings) are put into place simply because peoples thus give up before they start. Which means that, by concluding that it is ‘hard-wired’, one likewise concludes that it is fixed in situ forever and a day ... and correspondingly that one is fated to be malicious and sorrowful for the remainder of one’s life. In other words: one concludes that peace is not possible on earth.

But what if the instinctual passions are a ‘software package’ and not ‘hardware’? One can delete redundant ‘software’ and, if there is no ‘recycle bin’, it will never, ever re-install itself.

*

RESPONDENT: For instance, I became aware of interrupting a new female co-worker in her speech. I noticed this a couple of times and it bothered me. I was trying to dominate the discussion. I thought about why I was doing this, I became really aware of it, and it stopped.

RICHARD: If I may ask? When you became ‘really aware of it’ (through thinking about why) did this awareness reveal the feeling or feelings driving your interaction? If so, was it the discovery (of being run by the affective faculty) that ended the ‘dominating the discussion’ activity through its exposure? Or was it a thought-realisation that it is not nice to dominate another (as a social theory)?

RESPONDENT: Well, I was able to see the fear (fright) driving this outward behaviour. There was fear involved in it for me. It was not that I just suppressed the behaviour because it is not ‘nice’. If that were the case, I believe it would pop up in some other form.

RICHARD: May I ask? Has it (does it) ‘pop up in some other form’ already? Or has the ‘the fear (fright) driving this outward behaviour’ gone forever?

*

RESPONDENT: Naturally, there is a dark side of democratic institutions that is well known: the history of oppression and slavery, actual slavery, political and economic slavery, that democratic ideals, cleverly managed, conceal. And there is the actuality that we are quick to the trigger, to pick up a machine gun or a grenade launcher when the music stops and infringe on the ‘rights’ of others in territorial conquests or economic competition.

RICHARD: And here you have put your finger on the nub of the issue: the spontaneity of equity and parity that comes with the recognition of being fellow human beings is hijacked, subverted, sabotaged. And by what?

RESPONDENT: There are a myriad of factors involved, undoubtedly. We could speculate endlessly on these. Greed is a factor: I think I am lacking and you have something I want; therefore, I am going to take it from you to acquire it for myself.

RICHARD: Is this greed triggered by a primal (human condition) cause or a proximate (human conditioning) cause?

RESPONDENT: Returning to what you said in terms of the ‘theory of mind’, it would appear to be human conditioning as a cause. In other words, greed is organized by thought, by conditioning. Primal aggression, on the other hand, is disorganized, ‘blind’ in a sense, but given shape and form by the social conditioning.

RICHARD: Okay ... if greed has a proximate cause, does the emotion sustaining the behaviour called greed arise ex nihilo? Is it possible that the emotion sustaining the behaviour called greed is fuelled by some primal passion that goes by another name? An instinctual passion that one automatically assumes is ‘hard-wired’ and therefore beyond elimination? Hence one endlessly re-arranges the conditioning which is necessary for its control ... a sort of ‘fiddling while Rome burns’ type of activity?

If so, does ‘tweaking the controls’ ever provide an enduring solution?

*

RESPONDENT: There are in-built hormonal and neuronal mechanisms that mediate the fight-or-flight response of the organism to danger and extreme stress. These are permanently altered when one has been the object of violence or exposed to extreme stress.

RICHARD: Yet there are no child-hood hurts extant in this flesh and blood body ... my experience demonstrates that nothing in the affective faculty is either ‘hard-wired’ or permanent.

RESPONDENT: Would you say your experience is exceptional, indeed, unusual?

RICHARD: I have been scouring the books and talking with many and varied peoples from all walks of life for nineteen years now ... I would be delighted to meet someone with a similar experience as we could compare notes, as it were, or to even read about such a person’s experience, if that person were to be now deceased, would be of immense interest to me.

RESPONDENT: I was referring to research on PTSD that shows that there are actual hormonal and neuronal changes following exposure to extreme stress.

RICHARD: Yes, this is my understanding too regarding the research ... PET scans and MRI scans show deviations from normal people’s brain activity in people diagnosed PTSD (suggesting neuronal change). Blood tests and other physical symptoms indicate changed hormonal secretions ... which are yet to be conclusively linked to the neuronal changes but every indication is that this is so.

RESPONDENT: Probably I was wrong to say that these are ‘permanent’ – that is jumping too far.

RICHARD: The current wisdom – psychiatric and psychologic expertise – is that PTSD is a permanent disorder. Psychiatrical medication and psychological counselling seeks to modify the condition somewhat so as to make it manageable ... a chemical straight-jacket in concert with coping mechanisms and management techniques.

RESPONDENT: But once these hormonal and neuronal mechanisms are chronically altered, it seems to me it makes interrupting the cycle of hyper-arousal and psychic numbing extremely difficult.

RICHARD: Or extremely easy ... being normal is so culturally accepted and reinforced that it makes it extremely difficult to depart from the norm. If one already has a ‘severe psychotic disorder’ (a politically correct term for a ‘basket case’) ... what has one to lose by daring to be more different than one already is? Is one going to dumbly accept one’s fate – as decreed by the conventional wisdom of sane people – because the ‘software package’ has a developed a glitch?

Bearing in mind that 160,000,000 sane people were killed in wars in the last century by their sane fellow human beings – and that 40,000,000 people killed themselves in the same period – what is one going to do with such sane people’s advice?

RESPONDENT: Perhaps I should not use the word ‘interrupt’ – that implies something continuous. What I hear you saying is that there is a discontinuity. Am I correct?

RICHARD: Hmm ... ‘discontinuous’ means breaking continuity, intermittent interludes, interrupting intransience. I would rather stay with extirpated, eliminated, extinguished ... never to return.

RESPONDENT: When you say ‘there are no childhood hurts extant in this flesh and blood body ...’, are you saying the memories of hurt have been extinguished?

RICHARD: The passionate memory of all emotional hurts (indeed all the affections) was extinguished when the passionate memory faculty was extirpated ... the intellectual memory operates with the clarity enabled by the absence of the instinctual passions which normally cloud the remembrance with attractions and repulsions; likes and dislikes; shoulds and should nots and so on. In other words: free of malice and sorrow. The brain has two ‘memory banks’ and the passionate memory is both non-conscious and primal. This primal memory faculty (mainly in the amygdala) mediates all sensory data and triggers hormonal secretions before such data reaches the intellectual memory faculty (mainly in the neo-cortex). Consequently, as the neo-cortex is suffused with hormonal secretions a split-second before thinking commences, all thought is tainted, polluted ... crippled by the affective faculty before it starts. All this has been empirically detected and exhaustively verified by recent technological experimentation and research into the passion of fear (for just one example).

Modern empirical science has put the kibosh on ‘ancient wisdom’ once and for all.

June 24 2000:

RICHARD: It is such a monumental thing to have happen: this event is the pivotal point wherein all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides and the such-like in one human being come to an end permanently. In a word: innocence.

RESPONDENT: Some say that chucking socially contrived roles, chucking the divisions made up by thought, such as national divisions, and even divisions such as man, woman, child, etc. leads to freedom. It occurs to me that something more sinister than thought-induced division is at work in the kinds of monstrosities that you have identified: rape, child abuse, tortures, domestic violence, etc, etc. In the past, you have talked on this list of the extinction of the instinctual passions of fear and aggression. You have pointed out that social conditioning is designed to keep these instincts under wraps but (and I think this is what you are saying; I may be wrong) that it is the primitive instincts that create all this havoc. I am interested in knowing from you the extent that you would endorse the view that the solution to these horrors is merely throwing out thought-created (made up) social concepts, in other words, a freedom from the known, or do you think that something more deeply embedded, intrinsic to human beings, is at work in producing the level of violence that we see?

RICHARD: It is indeed ‘something more deeply embedded, intrinsic to human beings’ and any ‘freedom from the known’ such as a freedom from ‘thought-created (made up) social concepts’ is to but re-discover the tried and failed ‘solution’ which is still within the human condition. And there certainly is ‘something more sinister than thought-induced division at work in the kinds of monstrosities’ rampant throughout the world such as wars, murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, child abuse, suicides and the such-like ... and it has a physical genetic basis (not metaphysical). Consequently all devils and demons (and gods and goddesses) exist only in the human psyche and there is nothing to fear other than what is contained within the human condition itself.

Speaking personally, in my investigations I first started by examining thought, thoughts and thinking ... then very soon moved on to examining feelings (first the emotions and then the deeper feelings). When I dug down into these passions (into the core of ‘my’ being then into ‘being’ itself) I stumbled across the instincts ... and found the origin of not only the affective faculty but the psyche itself. I found ‘me’ at the core of ‘being’ ... which is the instinctual rudimentary animal self common to all sentient beings (otherwise known as the ‘original face’ and is what gives rise to the feeling of ‘oneness’ with all other sentient beings). This is a very ancient genetic memory passed on from generation to generation via deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a self-replicating material in the chromosomes of living organisms, which is the carrier of genetic information.

Being a ‘self’ is because the only way into this world of people, things and events is via the human spermatozoa fertilising the human ova ... thus every human being is endowed, by blind nature, with basic instinctual passions such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire. These passions are the very energy source of the rudimentary animal self ... the base consciousness of ‘self and other’ that all sentient beings have. The human animal – with its unique ability to be aware of its own death – transforms this ‘reptilian brain’ rudimentary animal ‘self’ into a feeling ‘me’ (as soul in the heart) and from this core of ‘being’ the ‘feeler’ then infiltrates into thought to become the ‘thinker’ ... a thinking ‘I’ (as ego in the head). No other animal can do this. That this process is aided and abetted by the human beings who were already on this planet when one was born – which is conditioning and programming and is part and parcel of the socialising process – is but the tip of the ice-burg and not the main issue at all. There is much, much more to an investigation into the human condition than ‘the thinker is the thought’, because (to put it in the same lingo) the ‘feeler’ is the feelings ... and the feelings are, as the root of the psyche, ‘being’ itself. Thus ‘I’ am the human psyche and the human psyche is ‘me’.

An actual freedom from the human condition (extinction of instinctual ‘being’ itself) will not eventuate unless the physically inherited cause (a genetically inherited instinctual animal self) that created the problem of the human condition is intimately experienced, comprehended and seen for who it is. To proceed from a sound basis, one starts with facts: to be alive (not dead) and awake (not asleep) and conscious (not unconscious) and aware and perceiving (and maybe thinking, remembering, reflecting and proposing considered action) is the human mind that every human being is born with and, as such, is similar around the globe and through all generations. Intimate access to the activity of each mind is personal (as opposed to public) but the basic activities of the human mind are not differentiated from others by qualities of its own. This neuronal activity – consciousness itself – is what the human mind is and thus, contrary to what some believe, consciousness is not its content (content as in conditioning) but the very neuronal activity itself.

Because, apart from awareness and perception and thought constituting what consciousness is, there is the affective feelings – emotions and passions and calentures – such as the instinctual fear and aggression and nurture and desire to consider:

1. Are these instinctual passions not basic traits that every human being is born with and consequently also similar?
• Or are they the result of conditioning and therefore the ‘contents of consciousness’?

2. What about malice and sorrow and any of derivatives of malice and sorrow ... as a broad generalisation, ‘malice’ is what one does to others (resentment, anger, hatred, rage, sadism and so on) and ‘sorrow’ (sadness, loneliness, melancholy, grief, masochism and so on) is what one does to oneself? Are they not latent traits that every human comes into ‘being’ with and thus are also similar because, whatever the emotion or passion or calenture may be, they all have a global incidence.
• Or are they the result of conditioning and therefore the ‘contents of consciousness’?

3. And what about the compensatory pacifiers of love and compassion and any of the derivatives of love and compassion that arise out of the basic instincts? Are they not also latent traits that every human comes into ‘being’ with and thus are also similar because, whatever the emotion or passion or calenture may be, they all have a global incidence.
• Or are they the result of conditioning and therefore the ‘contents of consciousness’?

4. What about such affectively-based activity as imagination, intuition, visualisation, conceptualisation, believing, trusting, hoping, having faith and so forth – giving rise to epiphenomenon like prescience, clairvoyance, telepathy, divination and other psychic effects – are they not embryonic traits that every human being comes into ‘being’ with and thus are similar as well?
• Or are they the result of conditioning and therefore the ‘contents of consciousness’?

Is it not clear that it is only the obvious ‘contents of consciousness’ which are the result of conditioning, such as the gender, racial and era beliefs, truths, morals, ethics, principles, values, ideals, theories, customs, traditions, superstitions and all the other schemes and dreams, that produces a ‘thought-induced division’? And yet this imprinted ‘divided mind’ (all the gender, racial and era beliefs, truths, morals, ethics, principles, values, ideals, theories, customs, traditions, superstitions and all the other schemes and dreams) would not be able to have the tenacious hold that it has if the human brain was indeed the ‘Tabular Rasa’ brain that so many peoples believe they are born with.

All the gender, racial and era beliefs, truths, morals, ethics, principles, values, ideals, theories, customs, traditions, superstitions and all the other schemes and dreams have such a persistent grip only because of the powerful energy of the genetically inherited instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire that stretch back to the dawn of the human species ... which passions have given rise to a rudimentary animal ‘self’ out of ‘being’ itself who is both savage (‘fear and aggression’) and tender (‘nurture and desire’).

Is it not obvious that all the animosity and anguish that has beset humankind throughout millennia comes from that which a lot deeper than ‘the thinker is the thought’ ... all the misery and mayhem stems from an animal energy which is much, much more powerful than thought, thoughts and thinking. Thus intelligence – the amazing ability to think, remember, reflect, evaluate, plan and implement considered action for beneficial reasons – is crippled by the instinctual passions.

Yet thought cops all the blame!

*

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